Shadow Box Quilt: A Monochromatic Challenge

*Click on any photo in this post to enjoy a larger size.

Name of Quilt: Shadow Box
Size: 50″ X 50″ (Lap Size)
Fabrics Used: Kona Cotton Solids in Magenta, Pansy, Mulberry, Crocus, Petunia, and Violet
Binding: Oval Elements by Patricia Bravo in Amethyst

Designed, machine pieced and quilted by Wendy Robards

The Modern Quilt Guild is sponsoring quilt challenge contests throughout 2011. Their first challenge looked wonderful, but things were too hectic at the start of the year for me to think about joining in. So when they posted their second challenge for 2011 with a deadline of March 31st, I couldn’t resist. Here is what they wrote about Project Modern: Challenge 2:

Design and make a quilt that is monochromatic. Create interest, life and energy in a quilt by using tints, shades and tones of a single color.

The quilt had to be a minimum size of 45″ X 45″ and be a completely original design. It was much harder than I thought to design a monochromatic quilt. I found a Google image which became my inspiration – a building casting its shadow over a parking lot. This inspiration motivated me to choose various shades of plum to recreate the idea of dusky shadows. I decided to have common elements running horizontally and vertically through the blocks, and used various widths of sashing to give the quilt some variety and interest.

Because shadows often play tricks on our eyes, I decided to put little surprises (using a lighter fabric) in the sashing  which include various sizes of  rectangles and squares, and even a pinwheel.

The quilting was simple, straight lines following the vertical and horizontal lines of the quilt. I didn’t worry about making my lines completely straight, but allowed a bit of free form to them to replicate the movement of shadows. The back is pieced with a large pinwheel in the center and various width strips across the quilt.

What I like best about this quilt is its vibrancy and its strong lines.

I do not know how many people are entering the contest. Three winners will be announced on April 15th (and there are some awesome prizes including a Robert Kaufman Bounty of Basics box of Kona Solids – a box of 100 Kona solid fat quarters!). But, I didn’t enter this challenge because of the prizes – I wanted to do something new in quilting that I had never done before…and it was a whole lot of fun!

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    • Tui on March 27, 2011 at 14:06

    Its purpleness shows up in that one pic on the chair (more than the pic where it is being held up) and its energy really pops when you can see the colour. I like how you have taken the photo image and translated it into fabric like that. Are all the fabrics plain or are any of them small prints? Like the back a lot too. This is a really neat exploration!

    • Wendy on March 27, 2011 at 14:27

    Tui: They are all solids (I could have used prints, but it is very hard to find a monochromatic print). It was really fun to take a photo and try to come up with a 3 dimensional, fabric representation. I used the basic idea of the photo, but took some liberties in the name of creative license 🙂

    • Jill on March 27, 2011 at 14:32

    Just gorgeous! The purples are so luscious!

    • Staci on March 27, 2011 at 16:09

    That is absolutely stunning!

    • Amused on March 27, 2011 at 19:22

    How beautiful! Purple is one of my favorite colors. Keep us posted on the results!

  1. Just gorgeous, Wendy! My mom would love it…she adores all shades of purple. I so admire people who have talent like this. Good luck to you in the challenge!

  2. Wow, this is simply incredible! My grammy is a big quilter and I’ve been to shows, fairs, galleries and museums on her behalf. Unfortunately, that crafty gene never did make it in my direction so I always stand in awe of people who did receive it. Keep up the fantastic work. This is great!

    • Wendy on March 28, 2011 at 05:49

    Jill: Thank you! I really love the color purple 🙂

    Staci: Thanks so much!

    Amused: I love purple too (can you tell *laughing*)…I’ll let you know who wins 🙂

    Michelle: Thank you!

    Pam: I hope some of your grammy’s quilts have made their way to you 🙂 I just discovered quilting in 2009, but now I’m addicted. Thank you!

    • Marie on March 29, 2011 at 08:24

    Absolutely gorgeous. That purple is stunning.

  3. Stunning! You are so talented!!!

    • Wendy on April 3, 2011 at 06:29

    Marie: Thank you so much!

    Les: Thanks for your kind words 🙂

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